Industry Q&A with Richard Jahnke – Solar

Q: What is your expertise on this industry?

A: The solar industry has federal and state tax incentives that a broker needs to be aware of, as well as

the government and length of relevant tax breaks. One particular program is the Xcel Energy Solar

Rewards program that has funding available through the end of 2016 and is incredibly helpful to this



Q: What industry jargon should you be familiar with?

A: Solar installations are roof-mounted or ground-mounted. Converter boxes converts power coming in

from the DC current to the AC current. The assessment for price quotes are completed remotely using

satellite imaging for pricing roof-mounted systems.


Q: How does financing look in the industry?

A: We can expect to see seller financing and SBA (7a) commonly employed in transactions in this



Q: What types of buyers have you seen making transactions in Solar?

A: Both strategic and high net worth buyers are commonplace. Also, there are national companies that

are operating in many states that offer additional state tax incentives. In Minnesota, there are several

large companies considering setting up shop, but have decided against pursuing both residential and

commercial markets and instead will focus on utility scale projects.

Q: What industry trends are currently evolving?

A: The state and federal laws are written to advance all renewable sources of energy with a goal to

reach 30% renewable in the next 20 years. In 2014, Minnesota received 0.01% of its energy from solar

Photo Voltaic systems, so Minnesota is nowhere near reaching any kind of limit within renewable



Q: Do you have any further knowledge to pass along?

A: Battery companies –like Tesla- and inverter companies –like SolarEdge- are specifically designing

products to work with this type of grid connection.


About the Interviewee – Richard Jahnke


Richard is adept at creating sales strategy, business plan development and consulting with businesses on

formation of deal structures


Richard has experience with the legal aspects of commercial transactions and enjoys creating client

relationships with business owners. He joined Sunbelt with over 20 years of leasing commercial retail

real estate. Richard has closed hundreds of transactions which has given him creative insight to assist

business owners through the complexities of selling or buying a business.


Richard earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Arizona

State University.